Saturday, July 29, 2017

Ghana 2017 - Day 5. First day of classes

I must be in Africa, because thanks to my new electric kettle I had a big bowl of Jungle Oats for breakfast.

Today it will be a short entry, because it is the first day of classes and I felt obliged to stay home and prepare the lecture. I am teaching my Development and Management of Water Resources, one of my favorite classes and one that I have taught many times. However, I am going to have to compress it a bit, and I figured that this was my opportunity to explore water issues in Africa (I owe it to the students since we all have come a long way to be here), which means I am actually preparing new materials.

Being eager to start, I showed up at noon at the International House, to have time to prepare my room. Given that it is only three students and myself I have been assigned a tiny study room, mercifully air conditioned, and I had two young geniuses to help me set the digital projector and the desk camera I brought with me from the US. And then I had to wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. The class is supposed to start at 1 pm, but at 1:15 Claudia came to tell me that the students had been delayed in their Service Learning field visit, and that they should be back anytime. Anytime turned into 1:45 pm, and when the kids arrived they were starving and carrying their lunches, so we took another 15 minutes to eat lunch before we could really start. The session thus became 2 hours instead of the 3 hours I had planned for. Tomorrow I will loose another hour because the Service Learning teacher asked them to be in class by 4 pm instead of 5 pm. I am being philosophical about this because I don’t want to stress my three students, and because the cultural experience of working in a school or a children’s soccer team in Africa is such a fabulous opportunity for them.

After class I was hungry, but had to learn the hard way that most campus eateries close after lunch (which is the main meal here). So I went back to the stalls in the market, and had an excellent vegan dinner of coconut brown rice, some sort of zucchini stew (with tofu?), and a green salad. Very yummy indeed.

Ghana trivia: Ghana is Africa’s second-biggest gold producer (after South Africa) and second-largest cocoa producer (after Cote d’Ivoire). It is also rich in diamonds, manganese ore, bauxite, and oil.

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